Review of On Point by Annabeth Albert

On Point (Out of Uniform #3)On Point by Annabeth Albert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Had you asked me a while back, if I liked military men in romances I would have said: not really. I rarely seek them out, and yet, here I am reading and loving the third book in Annabeth Alberts Out of Uniform series and eagerly awaiting the fourth one.

On Point is a best-friends-to-lovers story. A theme I greatly enjoy when it’s done right and boy, does Ms Albert do it right! So much buildup and tension between the two, so much awkwardness and angst everywhere else but the bedroom. Because Ben and Maddox are dynamite in the bedroom, even if they find it hard to find the balance outside of it.

The start of the book is Ben and Maddox on a mission, which goes wrong, interspersed with flashbacks from the last couple of months, where their decade long friendship has taken a turn for the weird. Even though I am not normally the biggest fan of the “I almost died, so I need to take a chance on this”-trope, it worked really well here. The intensity of the experience and the aftermath of it made sense and was engaging.

This is very much a relationship driven story, with angst, hurt and comfort, which will leave you turning the pages and sighing happily at the epilogue – I even got a bit teary, I was so happy for them!

All of these books can be read as standalones, but they are all great, so don’t cheat yourself out of some great books. Happily awaiting the next in the series.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

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Review of An Unnatural Vice by K.J. Charles

An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities, #2)An Unnatural Vice by K.J. Charles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4-4.5 stars

The second installment in KJ Charles’ Sins of the cities series is a wonderful enemies to lovers story, with two completely opposite men clashing on every page, with a great deal of angry sex to follow, but also some fantastic character growth.

Each book revolves around a new couple, but the overall mystery story arc continues, so you really need to read the series in order to get the full picture.

Justin Lazarus is know as “The seer of London”, a complete fraud and charlatan, he has no issue with manipulating and tricking people in grief, when he pretends to speak to their loved ones ‘behind the veil’. Justin knows no guilt for his actions, quite the opposite, if someone is stupid enough to pay him to lie to their face, why shouldn’t he?

When Justin is set opposite to Nathaniel Roy, whom we met in book one, the arch bishops son, a trained barrister and investigative journalist, with a strict moral code, who lost the love of his life in a freak accident, sparks fly.

The two suffer an instant mutual dislike and also a fierce mutual attraction. When the ongoing mystery and drama of the late earl’s bigamy and lost heir bring them together over and over again. The attraction wins over the dislike.

Nathaniel and Justin are great together. Everything about them is opposite. Their upbringing, their moral codex, their thoughts about friendship, love and humanity as a whole. It leads to a fascinating tale of opposites and enemies to lovers.

The plot thickens in the mystery too, and although I guessed who the lost heir was right off the bat, there are still a lot of things left unsolved for the next book. I cannot wait to read it! Warmly recommended.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.com, for my reading pleasure.

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Review of Starting from Scratch by Jay Northcote

Starting from Scratch (Housemates, #5)Starting from Scratch by Jay Northcote

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free ARC of this book from the author, for my reading pleasure. This has in no way affected my review.

I love the Housemates series. Fun, lighthearted, hot and thoughtful NA series, and they just keep getting better, book by book. This story is Ben and Sid’s story. We met both of them briefly in book 4, but you do not need to read any of the others in the series to enjoy this book – although why would cheat yourself out of that treat?

I read romance for the sake of romance. I am not too concerned with the gender pairing or how many participants are in the romance, as long as it is a good story with a happy ending, I’ll read it!
However, I have been following Jay’s own personal journey, and have a person in my own circle who is also transitioning, so transgender characters in romances do hold a bit of special interest to me. This is by far the best romance with a transgender MC, I have read so far! So much more focus on the mental issues of transitioning, and not just the physical ones.

Ben has a great supportive network in his family, thank god, and when he finds the courage to come out to his friends, he luckily finds nothing but support there as well.
We get to see things from Sid’s point of view too, which I thought was great. Because yes, you would have thoughts and questions in your mind, if the person you were interested in turned out to be transgender, it’s human nature.

Due to its subject matter – and maybe the importance of the subject to the author – this is not as lighthearted a read as many of the others in the series, but it is still a great NA story, with a super sweet and steamy love story between its pages. Warmly recommended.

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Review of Losing Control by Riley Hart

Losing Control (Broken Pieces, #3)Losing Control by Riley Hart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this audiobook from www.openskyebookreviews.com in exchange for an honest review.

Well, this was painful. Ben, our protagonist, is suffering from severe PTSD both after a recent kidnapping, which ended with murder, as well as his childhood memories of his older sister taking her own life.
He is spinning desperately out of control and into depression when we meet him. He is not working, not eating and not sleeping. All he does is drink, write letters to his ex-lover, and fuck strangers in clubs, or rather he tries to fuck strangers, except that his dick is not really co-operating any longer.
He meets Dante on such a night in a club, a mysterious stranger, who refuses to have sex with him and who takes him out for a drink, except that that drink turns out to be coffee, not alcohol. The relationship between Dante and Ben is not healthy, anyone can see that, but it does manage to keep Ben alive, something I was not certain was quite possible at the early stages of the book. Dante basically blackmails Ben into eating and sleeping, if he wants contact with him.

This book is not a happy book. It is not a light read. It is full of darkness, angst and drama. I have no idea how it compares to the two others in the series, as I have not read them, but it is not a read for a day when you want light hearted and romantic. There is no romance here. There is only desperation and need.

I would have liked more from Dante’s point of view. We spend all of the book in Ben’s head – which is not a nice place to be – but Dante is also a very broken man, and it would have been nice to see the world and their relationship through his eyes. Also I would have liked more emphasis on the relationship after they hit the wall and started coming back to life. We leave Ben and Dante in a very good and hopeful place, but my romantic little heart would have liked more assurance, that they would be ok, both as individual people and as a couple.

I had not read the first two books in this series, but didn’t feel the lack of back story was a problem at all, not until the very ending, where we were treated to glimpses of people who I had no idea who was, but that was all on me, not on the author.

Despite it’s dark and angsty feel, I am intrigued enough that I would probably go back and read the first two in the series, to get Tristan’s story too.

The narration of this book was lovely and flowed nicely. The narrator did separate voices for each character and you were never in doubt as to who was speaking. Jack DuPont was a new to me narrator, but I enjoyed his voice and his narration and would definitely buy something narrated by him again.

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The Housemates series by Jay Northcote

Jay Northcote has a new book coming out next week!  Book 5 in the Housemate series. A steamy fun New Adult series that I can warmly recommend.

Housemates_banner_5

I will be reviewing book 5 next week for the release date, until then you can see my reviews of some of the other book in the series or hurry up and buy those books in preparation for book 5, even if every book in the series work well as a standalone.

Housemates Series on Amazon

Review of True Colors by Anyta Sunday

True Colors (True Love, #2)True Colors by Anyta Sunday

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

***I received a free copy of this book from NetGally.com, in exchange for an honest review***

3-3.5 stars
This is a love story, no doubt about that, there is a romance in there, but it is mainly a story about friendship and forgiveness.

Marco and Oskar have been best friends through all of their childhood, weathering happiness and sorrow, including Marco’s mother dying in a horrific car accident which leaves Marco scarred for life, until 16 year old Oskar betrays his best friend out of fear, right when Marco needed him most to stand up for him.
The boys have been out of touch for four years when our story begins and Oskar returns from Mannheim to Berlin to continue his university degree there. Marco, now twenty, is not ready to let go of his hurt and anger towards Marco or to be truthful to him or his family about who he really is.

This is a slowburn romance and a slowburn getting back to being friends kind of story. The secondary characters, Marco’s Opa and Papa, as well as Oskar’s sister Zoe and Marco’s friend Elena are lovely and it was a very enjoyable read all in all.

I never did really connect to Oskar though, I felt Marco’s pain and humiliation and Marco must be a better person than me, because I couldn’t completely let Oskar’s betrayal go, at least I needed more time.

All in all though, this is a very sweet and quite angsty slow burn romance, which I encourage you to give a try, it is not my favourite by this author though, but I can warmly recommend Anyta Sunda’s work nonetheless.

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Review of Fascinated by Jess Michaels

Fascinated: The Wicked WoodleysFascinated: The Wicked Woodleys by Jess Michaels

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley.com, for my reading pleasure.

This is a pretty standard historical romance: a house party, illicit meetings, parlour games that turns into touches and kisses etc. There is no subplot other than the two men’s own conflicted feelings and their shared connection to Letty, their hostess, Griffin’s sister and the widow of Aron’s deceased lover.

This is the 6th book in The Wicked Woodleys series by Jess Michaels. I have read this author before – though not this series. The blurb promises the book can be read as a stand alone and it does work that way, although I still felt I was lacking something… Not so much information, as build up of this relationship. I just didn’t feel the chemistry and tension between the two men, even if I was told they had been circling each other for years…

The story was easily read, sweet, a little bit angsty and enjoyable enough. Not so enjoyable though that I will return to read the books before it in the series and I predict it will be very easily forgotten too. However, I would read this author’s work again, for days when you need something light and easy for a quick read.

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Review of Lord of Ravens by Amelia Faulkner

Lord of Ravens (Inheritance, #3)Lord of Ravens by Amelia Faulkner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, the plot certainly thickens! Even if we get more knowledge of Quentin’s background and history – not surprising, but still horrid – we also open up so many new and exciting possibilities and directions for both Quentin and Lawrence to move in.

Lawrence and Quentin face new challenges as Lawrence’s gifts are evolving and he starts meeting Herne in the Otherworld in his dreams and tries to take the steps to fulfill his true destiny. Quentin is still denying a lot about himself, but he does try to move forward, but in relation to his gifts and as a functional human being. Add to that that they are now dealing with a house full of teenagers and the fact that Quentin’s father has found out where he is, there is quite a lot going on!

This book cannot be read as a stand alone, you need to read the series in order, to gain the understanding of the universe and the characters. Where book 1 is mainly a kind of introduction, number 2 was so action packed you could hardly breathe. The third book is different once again, more retrospective, although quite a lot happens.

Quentin is still by far, the more interesting character to me – but the little mean cliffhanger-y sneak peek at the end of the book certainly made me very very interested in Freddy too!

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Review of Watching and Wanting by Jay Northcote

Watching and WantingWatching and Wanting by Jay Northcote

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This review is subtitled: Watching and wanking … or: How Jay Northcote came to rescue me.

One week into the new year and I was already 3 books behind on my yearly reading challenge! I was in a book slump of epic proportions, having started – and discarded – no fewer than 6 books, when I received a free ARC of this book for my (one handed) reading pleasure.
Since the release date was still weeks away, I decided to hold off reading this a little longer, but nothing – and I do mean NOTHING – could hold my interest! Readers will understand the severity of a book slump like this! It is a horrid feeling. Also, it makes you fear starting out long awaited books out of fear that your slumpy mood will taint the experience…

But in the end I gave in and decided to start Shawn and Jude’s story. I have loved all of the house mate series so far and, in spite of my slump, felt fairly sure that Jay Northcote would not let me down. And, boy was I right! Jay Northcote to the rescue! I finished this book at 3 am in the morning, having read it in one sitting and for that alone (and also for pulling me out of the horrible ‘book slump of despair’) it deserves 5 stars!

The blurb of this book really says it all, but to recap: Shawn is in a bit of a downward spiral. Nothing appeals. He has recently graduated college but doesn’t know what to do with his degree, so he is working in a chemist stocking shelves. His girlfriend dumped him and he manages to take out his ire at the world on his friends and housemates. Not in a good place. Until he one day accidently walks in on his housemate, Jude, doing a live cam session in his room. Suddenly Shawn cannot stop thinking about Jude or stop watching Jude’s twice weekly cam sessions in his room, whilst jerking off.

Jude does cam boy work to earn money for his studies, and because he likes it. He earns good money getting his rocks off on camera, he is an exhiobisionist and enjoys the attention. His hunky housemate walking in on him is great wank fodder, and he enjoys the fantasy of straight boy Shawn joining him for a ‘gay for pay’ session, even if he knows it would never happen.

Shawn however, may not be as straight as he seems. In fact, he is pretty sure he is bi. And joining Jude in front on the camera, in the guise of making some fast money, seems like the perfect way to explore his bi-curiosity.

The cam sessions are steaming hot – in fact I do believe this must be the filthiest book Jay has ever written. Phew! Talk about a one-handed read. And the boys together are super sweet. Shawn’s sexual identity crisis feels real, so does his denial and lashing out. Even if he acts like a bit of a twat sometimes, it was – at least to me – perfectly relatable behaviour in the situation.

I can warmly recommend this fun and filthy piece of feel good romance. It works well as a stand alone, but the three first books in the series are great too, so do not cheat yourselves out of those.

Watching and Wanting will be out on January 20th, but the pre-order button is live and active now on Amazon.

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Review of The Straight Boyfriend by Renae Kaye

The Straight Boyfriend (Loving You, #3)The Straight Boyfriend by Renae Kaye

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5-4 stars

There has been a lot of hullabaloo about this book. I am not going to add to it as such. I enjoyed this fluffy little tale and as a living, breathing, practising bi-sexual, I can honestly say that I did not feel offended at all at Aron’s reluctance to label himself as anything other than straight.

That being said, I have a hard time believing that people turn gay for you and only you – but that is a story for another day. And really, who am I to judge anyone else for how they choose to label / not label themselves.

Neither did I feel that it was indicated in any way that bi-sexual people are horndogs that will cheat on any given partner with one of the opposite sex. Aron’s doubts about his fidelity really has nothing to do with Vinnie’s gender and everything to do with the fact that he has never been able to remain faithful to a partner so far in his life.

Anyway…. after saying all that. This was a cute little story. Nothing beats ‘Loving Jay’ and Jay and Liam are still firmly placed as my number one couple in this series, but I enjoyed this story and the characters in it. Aron and Vinnie are sweet together and Vinnie’s family is fantastic. Recommended.

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